While Mauritius has announced that its borders will be open to Mauritian nationals, residents and long-stay tourists from October 1, a 14-day quarantine is currently mandatory for all arriving passengers.
Right now it is unclear whether this quarantine will be extended past October and whether it will apply when the country opens its borders for leisure tourism. Operators canvassed by Travel News said at this stage it was still a bit of “wait and see”, but also warned of dire consequences should the government extend the quarantine to regular tourists in the high summer season.
Md of World Leisure Holidays, Ramesh Jeenarain, told Travel News that quarantine was part of the second phase of the country’s borders opening and was not geared toward leisure travellers on seven- to 10-day stays. The first phase, starting in August, has focused on the repatriation of Mauritian nationals. Ramesh said beyond October, no formal announcement had been made on the requirements, but that this would likely be assessed based on the infection rates in Mauritius’s primary source markets. However, Ramesh cautioned that extending the quarantine requirement would not be sustainable. “It will destroy the Mauritius tourism industry in its entirety.”
Earlier this month, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) sent out a communication detailing the quarantine requirement, along with a website to facilitate quarantine accommodation bookings for travellers from Réunion, Paris and Dubai for the period between October 1 and 31. Asked if the mandatory quarantine period would be extended past October, MTPA said only that once an announcement was made by the government regarding the next phase of the opening up of borders, an update on health, sanitary and quarantine protocols would be issued.
According to recent public opinion research by Iata, 88% of travellers would not even consider travelling if quarantine measures were imposed at their destination.
Carla da Silva, Air Mauritius regional manager Southern Africa and Latin America, told Travel News that while President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced that SA borders would be open from October 1, there were still processes that needed to be put in place before initiating operations. “We are still waiting for list of permitted countries. However, we know Africa is permitted so this is exciting for Mauritius,” said Carla. She added that flights in the MK system were bookable from November 1, from Johannesburg to Mauritius.